Heading into Friday’s game against Glenbrook South, York already had pressure working with a young cast and being a one-goaltender team. That pressure didn’t seem too much to handle as the Dukes went on to open the SHL with a 4-2 win over the visiting Titans.
Speed was never in question as both teams came to ready to play but York hit the board early when Jack Ryan found the back of the net with 14:37 left in the first. Within two minutes Matt Anikiej scored his first of three goals to give York a 2-0 lead that lasted well into the second period. Glenbrook South kicked in to gear before it was too late and left the second period tied at 2.
“I think we just got kind of complacent,” said Anikiej. “We let up a little bit and let them right back into the game with some defensive breakdowns but we were able to come together in the locker room and get two more up there.”
Head coach Bruce Turpin agreed that they got a little complacent on top of a couple penalties that set them back.
“We took three or four penalties that ended up costing us a couple goals,” he said. “We need to work on playing with a little more discipline and get back to our game plan which is get that puck in deep and working on our puck possession.”
After regrouping in the locker room during the intermission, York came back strong with Anikiej scoring his second goal with 13:53 left to play and ending the night with a hat trick at the 11:45 mark.
“[The third goal] is what I think made us continue with our momentum,” Anikiej sad. “Even coming out of the locker room (after the second period), even though we calmed down we were still a little scared.”
Thomas Wesolowski stood between the pipes for York and as a sophomore, he’s taken on a lot of responsibility but knows what he needs to do to get the job done.
“Nothing’s ever secure, so I made sure I worked really hard,” he said. “The team’s really helping me out in front, blocking shots, getting the puck out and clearing those rebounds I can’t really get. But being the only goalie on the team, every practice I’m working as hard as I can and get stronger every time.”
At the end of the day, Wesolowski remains positive no matter the outcome.
“Im just taking it game-by-game,” he said. “But we’re undefeated now and looking forward to the rest of the season.”